2. Collecting Information
When you have eliminated the
impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.
The Sign of Four
||When you have
settled on a topic for your information product, you should start searching for
information. Think about the following questions and ideas as you search your digital and
- What sort of information do you need to accomplish your goal(s)? Do you
need arguments, results of other people's research, statistics, or pictures? Would the
information be time sensitive?
- What kinds of sources are likely to have the information you seek? Would
the information be general enough to come from encyclopedias, or should you look through
news magazines for time sensitive information, or newsgroups for opinions?
- Is the information reliable and valid? Does the source relate facts and
quotes, or does it issue only opinions? Is the web site you are using published by a
university or other reliable institution?
- Should you adapt or change your topic? Based on the lack or abundance of
available information, should you broaden your topic, or should you focus on a sub-topic?
Has your opinion of the topic changed as a result of the information you have found?
Should you adapt the topic based on new ideas?
|In order to provide a citation of
your information, you will need the following information:
- Author's name
- Full title of the work
- Title of the complete work (if applicable)
- Publishing organization
- Document date
- Date Accessed
- Full URL
As mentioned in the section on evaluating
Internet resources, it will become increasingly important to have information about
the found data, explanations of conditions that validate the data and its sources. The
Internet is going to become increasingly suspect. It will not be enough to say that a
person said this in his or her web page. Additional facts will be required as part of the
report that validates the information; who generated it, as part of what study, under the
support of what organization, and when it was established.
Traditionally, this sort of reference along with a footnote or
bibliographic citation was adequate:
Dr. Sara Snow, in her book, The Rising Tide, states that
Today, more validating facts are needed:
Dr. Sara Snow, in her five-year investigation of red surf algae at the
University of Florida, reports from her web site (http://www.ufl.edu/bio/rsa/) that
The following, are questions that you should ask about the information
you wish to use. These questions will help you collect the information about the found
data that will validate it in terms of your goals or those of your students' research or
- What is it about the author that supports your project goals?
- What is it about the publishing organization that supports your project
- What is it about how the information was generated that supports your
- What is it about the nature of the information that supports your project